Highlights

In Southwest China, Yunnan is a paradise with beautiful mountains, bright blue skies, cotton clouds, and fresh clean air. Furthermore, it is also one of the best family vacation destinations in China.

Our 8 days Yunnan family tour is carefully devised to best serve the interests and needs of children and their parents. You can tailor the itinerary of learning, real life experiences, cultural exploration and active outdoor activities, so that the whole family can feel that every day in Yunnan is new, dynamic and enjoyable.

Travel with Yunnan Discovery – we'll consider every possible way to ensure a life-time happy memory for your family travel in Yunnan.

Top Things to Do:

  • Discover the highlights of Yunnan, including Stone Forest, Lijiang Ancient Town & Shaxi Ancient Town.
  • Enjoy the delightful Erhai Lake cruise, with an excursion to Jin Suo Island where kids and you can explore ancient Dali emperors' "summer palace".
  • Visit the vibrant morning market of Xizhou Town and learn to make Xizhou baba (a local snack) and the basic techniques of tie-dye, a great fun for family.
  • Not only the adults, but also the children will discover Chinese ethnic minorities' interesting customs and folklores. Children will also understand the pleasures of living in harmony with nature.
  • More children-friendly activities to join in, such as exciting cable car rides on Mount Cangshan & Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, watching birds at Lashihai Lake and study embroidery.
  • Travel Style: private tour, family tour, children-friendly vacation, classic, culture

    Best Time to Travel: All year round

    Destinations: Kunming, Dali, Shaxi, Lijiang

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    Day

    Meals Included: No Meals

    Hello, welcome to Yunnan China! The first stop of your family vacation is Kunming, the provincial capital, with flights to/from most China destinations and many international cities. Meet your private guide of Yunnan Discovery at the airport arrival hall. After a warm welcome meeting, transfer to your hotel in Kunming city center. Your guide will help you with the check-in procedures, and all the necessary formalities, hence, you can take care of the family, especially the kids.

    The rest of the day is for you to acclimatize yourselves to the new environment, and perhaps explore the city a bit (own arrangement), for instance, having a leisure stroll at Green Lake Park, or visiting Kunming Bird and Flower Market, where children can see various kinds of birds and small cute animals.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    After a tasty breakfast at hotel, your guide will pick up your family at the lobby and transfer to visit Jindian Park (Golden Temple Park) on the Mingfeng Mountain in the northeast suburb of Kunming. Drive all the way to the mountain top, where there stands a Taoist temple, a shiny golden architecture, which is made of bronze. China's biggest all-bronze temple with many elaborate designs, Golden Temple is a masterpiece of classical Chinese architecture.

    Drive downhill, and head for Stone Forest. If the Golden Temple is a bit boring to the kids, the Stone Forest (UNESCO World Heritage) will cheer them up immediately. As its name suggests, it is a special forest made of fantastic rock peaks. To satisfy children's curiosity, your guide will introduce its long history and how it was formed from a vast sea 270 million years ago into today's stone forest.

    When walking through this geological wonder, encourage your kids (and also yourself) to use their imagination and see what the rocks look like, maybe a waterfall, an adorable elephant, a tiger fighting with a dragon, a peacock combs its wings, and many more. Thereafter, transfer back to downtown Kunming.

    Good to Know:

    During the fruit harvest season, we can arrange your family the activity of picking seasonal fruits instead of the visit of Jiandian Park. Please consult with your travel consultant of Yunnan Discovery for more details.

    Things to Do in Kunming at Night:

    Dynamic Yunnan (optional) – It is a grand music and dance show, blending the local folk songs and original dances with modern technology and extraordinary light effects. Most of the performers are local ethnic villagers.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Your guide of Kunming will pick your family up in the morning from hotel, and escort you to the Kunming South Railway Station. Enjoy a bullet train journey to Dali. Meet your driver and guide of Dali and transfer to your hotel in Dali Ancient Town, one of the most beautiful ancient towns in China.

    Transfer to visit Cangshan Mountain, a UNESCO Global Geopark, where the majestic Himalaya ends. Take a cable car (Gantong or Zhonghe) up Cangshan Mountain, definitely a fun and exciting experience for children. Then enjoy an easy delightful hike along Jade belt path, embraced by tranquil woods, green-lush plants, and have a great view of Erhai Lake.

    Later enjoy a relaxing cruise trip on Erhai Lake, and luxuriate in the cultural and natural beauties of Dali. Perhaps, you can learn from the fisherman and your guide about the previous fishing life in Dali and the local fishing techniques. Stop by an islet in Erhai Lake, named Jin Suo Island. Used to be a summer retreat for ancient Dali Kingdom's royals, it possesses many ancient structures, secluded trails and corners for your family to explore.

    Transfer back to hotel. Never miss the interesting nightlife of Dali Ancient Town – there is music, laughter, beautiful lights, food streets…

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Before your trip from Dali Ancient Town to Shaxi Ancient Town, enjoy an interesting Bai ethnic culture tour in Xizhou Town, where the typical Bai architecture and vernacular dwellings are best kept. Appreciate the beauty of richly ornamented buildings with carved beams, painted rafters, overhanging eaves and artistic walls.

    Afterwards your guide will lead you to a traditional wet market at Xizhou Town. For city residents from the West, it is messy, noisy and a bit dirty, but full of surprises. The vendors in traditional costumes are busy working behind stalls, selling vegetables, fruits and daily items that you and your children may have never seen before.

    Then your family will take a cookery lesson – learn to make Xizhou baba or dairy fan, both are tasty traditional street foods in Dali Yunnan. The teacher will show you each step one by one, so that even the children will find that it is an easy and entertaining process. Have a taste of your hand-made Xizhou baba or dairy fan - guess it is delicious!

    Enjoy a special lunch at a local Bai family's house in Zhoucheng Village, and taste traditional Bai delicacies. Thereafter, your family will take an introductory tie-dye class, to practice manipulative ability and enjoy more family fun. Zhoucheng Village is known as the "hometown of Bai tie-dye" and "the living fossil of Bai nationality". Learn from your teacher to make yourself incredible tie dye clothes and crafts, wonderful souvenirs or gifts to be brought back home.

    Later, transfer to Shaxi Ancient Town, more than 2400 years old, used to be a trade hub of the Ancient Tea Horse Road and a Buddhist cultural center of Dali Nanzhao Kingdom. When the night falls, look up for the stars flickering over the sky and cherish the peaceful, memorable family moments.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    After breakfast, have a brisk walking tour of Shaxi Ancient Town to discover its old streets and corners – it is like a journey through time. The well-preserved architectures, theaters, murals and other historical sites in Shaxi Ancient Town unveil the prosperous Dali (Nanzhao) Kingdom centuries ago. Your guide will lead your family to Sideng Street, one of the endangered sites listed by the World Monuments Fund.

    Then drive for 30 minutes to get to Shibao Mountain, famous for beautiful scenery, fantastic (red) rock formations and most importantly its stone treasure caves. The trip of Shibao Mountain requires a walk up, then you'll see the Shizhongshan grottos, 1100 years old, known as "Southwest China's Mogao Caves", and mainly distributed in Shizhong Temple. Later visit 800-year-old Baoxiang Temple - "Yunnan's Hanging Monastery". The beautiful carved grottoes on Shibao Mountain are treasures of Buddhist art and offer materials to research the history of Dali.

    Hit the road again and head for Lijiang Old Town, another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Yunnan, with laid-back atmosphere and a lot of interesting things to explore. Before entering the town, visit Black Dragon Pool. Its water nurtures people in the old town. The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, together with the ancient pavilions and a five-hole arch bridge, is reflected on the crystal clear water of the pool.

    Lijiang old town is safe and extremely beautiful at night. Take your kids out to enjoy the friendly and joyful atmosphere, meet more new people and maybe shop around for some Lijiang specialty souvenirs.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Today you'll travel around Lijiang for adventure and learning more. Firstly have a family trip to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to return to mystical nature. A holy mountain for local Naxi people, it features glacial landscape, alpine meadows, primeval forest, and is home to preserved wildlife.

    At Ganhaizi Scenic Area (at 3050m) of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Impression Lijiang Show is on. It is directed by Zhang Yimou (director of the Beijing 2008 Olympics opening ceremony) and inspired by great nature, the history of Ancient Tea Horse Road, Lijiang Old Town and mysterious Naxi ethnic culture. Enjoy the beautiful music, dance and local villagers' and artist's wonderful performances.

    Later take Jade Dragon Snow Mountain cable car to get to Spruce Meadow (at 3240m). A large alpine meadow surrounded by primitive forest. Mythology has that Spruce Meadow is the entrance of "the Third World of Jade Dragon". Walk around for incredible views. Here you feel that the majestic Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is close at hand, with unobscured views of millennium glaciers.

    Drive down the mountain and continue your exhilarating journey to Baisha Village. An important part of Lijiang UNESCO World Heritage, Baisha was the previous political, economic and cultural center of Naxi people. Travel around to discover many strange, interesting antiques and traditional artisan's workshops, your kids' curiosity will be further stimulated.

    Then take an embroidery class at Baisha Naxi Embroidery Institute. In ancient times, Naxi embroidery was widely used on local royals' and nobles' clothes and bedding. People seldom use embroidery on clothes in nowadays, though, the traditional embroidery arts is retained. And you'll appreciate the fantastic art of embroidery by personally working on the cloth with needles and yarns.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    After breakfast go on an adventure to Wenhai Lake (at 3180m, less traveled by tourists), part of Lashihai Lake plateau wetland nature reserve, with Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as its backdrop. In summer, all kinds of flowers are in full blossom creating a fairyland. While in winter, migratory birds fly from the north and perch at Wenhai Lake, therefore, it becomes a kingdom of birds. You may also have chance to see alpine animals such as yaks, miniature horses and sheep grazing.

    Later visit Xuehua (Snowflake) Yi Village, where local Yi ethnic people live a secluded life on mountainous areas. Your guide will lead you to a local household and meet the hosts, who are dressed in traditional colorful costumes and will entrain you with friendly smile and perhaps some simple local snacks. If you're lucky enough, you may see the shaman (wizard) of Yi, a unique experience for both adults and kids.

    Continue your family's Yunnan eco-tour to Lashihai Lake Wetlands. En route, visit Zhiyun Temple, one of the five holy temples in Lijiang, built in 1727. Marvel at the Sakyamuni Buddha statue and Buddhist art treasures, as well as the fine buildings.

    Enjoy a boat trip on Lashihai Lake. Winter time, from December to next February, is the best time to visit Lashihai Lake if you desire a bird-watching tour in Yunnan. Every year, tens of thousands of birds of dozens of species perch here, including bar-headed goose endemic to Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, black-necked crane, Chinese merganser, etc. If you travel to Lashihai Lake in the other months, there are fewer birds, but the scenery is still good.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

    It is the last day of your Yunnan family tour. You can lie in or have a walk around Lijiang Ancient Town. Then your guide and driver will pick you up from hotel lobby, and transfer to the airport. Fly back home safe and sound, and welcome to Yunnan China again!

    What's included

    • One-on-one travel counseling service with fully tailor-made itinerary
    • Private English-speaking guide, native-born or with years of local life experience
    • Reservations of domestic flights and trains as listed on your itinerary
    • Private driver, with comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle
    • Entry tickets to all attractions on your itinerary
    • Private transfers to airport/hotels/attractions
    • Handpicked accommodations to meet your needs, with daily breakfast
    • Lunch and dinner arranged at local restaurants, for taste of Yunnan
    • International flight tickets or train tickets
    • China Visa (but we can send you the invitation letter to help you apply China visa)
    • Tips for guides, escort, drives, bellman
    • Personal expenses

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